Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why are taxis given such priority in London?

The London Traffic Report 2007 shows that taxi carry just 2.9% of commuters on the roads in the morning peak and just 0.6% of all commuters in central London. Yet taxis are allowed to take up a huge and disproportionate amount of the road space, including being given access to the bus lanes. Why is this?

I posted this question on the excellent Another Cycling Forum and despite 30 or so comments am none the wise. The closest to a consensus is that the The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) has a lot of political clout, though it is not clear why that should be. Someone suggested that it is because the great and the good use taxis a lot.

We all need to use taxis occasionally and I wouldn’t want to price them out of the market. Perhaps this is a red herring: it is the cars we need to get off the road, create safer road space for cyclists and then all will be well.

1 comment:

jswan said...

Good article. They are also empty almost forty-fifty percent of the time.